Student Health Center Offers Drop-In Counseling Outside the Traditional Clinic Setting

At Rensselaer, the Student Health Center strives to keep students healthy so they can achieve their academic and personal goals.

In response to the growing demand for counseling services, the Student Health Center developed a Drop-In Counseling program to meet students where they are in an effort to remove barriers and reduce the perceived stigma of care.

“Reaching out for counseling support is a sign of strength. Students who seek counseling are able to improve their resilience through the development of effective stress management strategies,” said Kevin Readdean, health center associate director and interim director of counseling services.

Launched during the fall of 2019, Drop-In Counseling services are offered outside the traditional clinic setting at three heavily trafficked locations across campus, including the Mueller Center, East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV), and the Rensselaer Student Union. Services are available four afternoons per week, allowing easy access for students new to counseling or for those who need to speak to a professional before their next appointment. Each drop-in session ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, ensuring availability for all students.

Due to the success of the Drop-In Counseling services, the Student Health Center plans to continue to offer these services throughout the academic calendar year, including The Arch summer semester.

“Last summer, many Arch students reported being too busy to stop to seek counseling support. We will take the drop-in counseling model to them. The re-clustering of the junior cohort on campus will allow us to meet students where they are. We are considering locations such as the residential commons, Student Union, or academic buildings for summer 2020,” said Dr. Leslie Lawrence, executive director of health and wellness.

In an effort the meet the needs of our students, the Student Health Center worked closely with student leaders to review feedback from the spring 2019 Student Senate Counseling Services Survey. In addition to guidance on drop-in counseling locations, the survey results also inspired an increase in the number of online appointments offered through the student portal and diversification of staff to better connect with our student population.

If you or someone you know is in need of counseling services, counseling staff are here to assist our students with stress management, personal issues, and ultimately academic success. Counseling support can be accessed through a drop-in appointment, our online portal, or by calling (518) 276-6479. To learn more, visit studenthealth.rpi.edu.